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Key themes and research agendas in the sport-alcohol nexus
journal contributionposted on 2011-05-01, 00:00 authored by Catherine Palmer
This article synthesizes the main themes and research agendas that have been explored in studies of sports-associated drinking. It identifies four themes in which sport and alcohol come together: (a) the commercial economy; (b) social practices and cultural identities; (c) crime and violence; and (d) health behaviors. The article highlights the paradoxical and contradictory nature of the sport-alcohol nexus, especially in relation to health behaviors and crime and violence, where sport is both a context for and a “solution” to health damaging and criminal behavior. The article also argues for the contribution that studies of sports-based drinking can make to the sociology of sport and alcohol use more broadly, particularly with regard to applying new theoretical perspectives such as “calculated hedonism” and “casual leisure” to drinking in sporting contexts. It also extends our analysis of the beer-sport-gender “holy trinity” to considering drinking by women as well as among less traditional forms of masculine identities.